Sweet and dandy and damn good

The Sweet & Dandy

I’m not all late-night cookie runs, pizza binge fests and mountains of pork belly. Sometimes, believer it or not, the things I obsess over are actually… healthy! Gasp! Yes, I know! Insanity.

My latest food crush, for example, is neither chocolatey nor from any part of a pig, it’s totally vegan and made fresh the day I buy it, and get this, it’s ridiculously delicious. I’m craving some just thinking about it. I’m talking about the beautifully colored, bursting-with-flavor, oh-so-freakin’-good “Sweet and Dandy” at Melvin’s Juice Box.

You can get lots of healthy, fresh, fruit and veggie juices at this colorful little Greenwich Village juice bar attached to Miss Lily’s, but ever since I tried the Sweet and Dandy, I just can’t bring myself to buying anything else. A rich, deep fuchsia color, it’s a perfect blend of beets, carrots, apples, pineapple and ginger. They all come together to make a vibrant, sweet drink with a subtle ginger spiciness that’s so good I swear I could down a gallon of it in one sitting.

At about $8 a juice, it is a bit on the expensive side but when I think about how good it tastes and how healthy and natural it is, and how I won’t have to spend 3 hours burning it off at the gym like I would if it were a chocolate shake, I don’t mind spending the money. (Milkshakes, I still got love for you, though.)

Put your liquid jacket on

ABC Kitchen's Berkshire cider

This year’s official first day of winter is December 22nd but with this weekend’s lows in the 30s and get this— a chance of snow (Yea, I know, snow in October. WTF, right?) it looks like winter is showing up early. And while my closet is stocked full of puffy down jackets, wool coats, sweaters out the wazoo and scarves of every color in the rainbow and then some, one of my preferred ways of keeping warm is the ol’ liquid jacket. You know, booze.

Yes, most any form of alcoholic beverage—be it beer, wine or liquor— will do the trick, but my favorites are the seasonal kind. Earlier this week, for example, during lunch at the always delicious ABC Kitchen, I had the gut-warming, soul-soothing, Berkshire cider martini. Made with berkshire bourbon and spiced apple cider, it was smoky and deep, the kind of drink that literally makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Hot buttered rum

Also this last week, but this time at home and made by yours truly, was the holiday-style-gluttonous hot buttered rum. Ingredients: hot buttered rum mix (basically a blend of  cinammon, nutmeg, and the like), rum, and you guessed it, butter. I mean, really, don’t you feel cozy just thinking about it? Cause I do. With no garnish or much thought put into presentation, it wasn’t particularly attractive (nor did my camera do much to help the cause), but it was spicy and smooth, and made me wish I had a fireplace to sit in front of while enjoying it.

Winter might be here early but me and my liquid jacket will be just fine.